Australian Business Conditions Thrive Amid Rising Cost Pressure

australian business conditions thrive amid rising cost pressure.jpg Business

In the face of fluctuating global economic conditions, Australia’s business landscape has demonstrated robust resilience yet again this August. A broad surge in sales, profits, and jobs was noted, alongside persistently high inflationary pressures. These findings, indicative of a strong economic environment, could potentially strengthen the argument for additional monetary tightening measures to curb inflation.

A report published by National Australia Bank Ltd (NAB) on Tuesday revealed a promising increase in its index of business conditions, climbing to +13 in August from a revised +11 in July. The erratic yet significant confidence measure also saw a 1 point jump to +2. The survey’s employment measure reported a 3 point gain to +9, while the sales index edged up 1 point to +18 and profitability ascended 2 points to +13. These figures suggest a robust demand for labour well into the second half of the year, according to NAB’s Chief Economist, Alan Oster.

Australian Business Conditions Steady Amidst Inflation Pressure

SYDNEY – The robust Australian business environment, as per a recent survey, has shown enduring resilience in August. An upward trend in sales, profits and jobs has been observed, despite persistent high inflationary pressure. The data could potentially support the argument for further monetary tightening to control inflation.

Survey Highlights

The survey conducted by National Australia Bank Ltd (NAB) revealed a rise in its business conditions index to +13 in August, up from an upwardly revised +11 in July. The confidence measure, though volatile, also managed to bounce 1 point to +2.

The survey’s employment measure saw a significant increase of 3 points to +9. The sales index also saw a modest increase gaining 1 point to reach +18, while profitability rose 2 points to +13.

Forward orders, a key demand outlook indicator, though previously sluggish, managed to rise one point to a flat reading. Additionally, capacity utilization surged back over 85%, approaching historical highs.

Labour Demand and Inflation Outlook

NAB’s chief economist Alan Oster noted, "There was a notable rise in the employment index which is well above the long-run average, suggesting labour demand has remained strong into the second half of the year."

The inflationary pressure in the economy remains high, reflecting the significant cost pressures businesses are facing along with persistent demand. Oster further added, "We expect inflation to remain elevated in Q3."

In fact, growth in labour costs was 3.2% higher in the past three months, albeit easing slightly from the previous 3.7% reading. Purchasing costs also saw an uptick, rising to 2.9% from 2.8%.

Monetary Policy Outlook

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has refrained from rate hikes for the third consecutive month. However, it has previously raised the cash rate by a substantial 400 basis points since May last year. The bank warned that further tightening may be required to suppress inflation.

While a majority of economists predict one final rate hike by the RBA before the end of the year, market speculation suggests that the tightening cycle may be nearing its end.


The recent survey data indicates a resilient Australian business environment, demonstrating growth across various sectors, despite ongoing inflationary pressures. The RBA’s stance on potential rate hikes will be crucial in determining the inflation outlook. Policymakers may need to strike a balance between supporting economic growth and controlling inflation, a task that may prove challenging in the current global economic climate.

Crive - News that matters